WHAT? 30 years REALLY?

A month ago I got an email from the HR Department here at work they were asking what gift I would like for my 30 years of service.

WHAT? 30 years? I knew it was this year, I knew it was coming but I had not put a lot of thought into it but when I read the email, there is was, in black and white. I could not avoid it any longer. 30 years, where did they go?

I went to work for the state of Tennessee at the age of 18. I had graduated in June with no plans at all. I had taken Graphic Arts my last two years of high school and I loved it. But going into that was a passing thought. I had actually worked at a small family run printing company at 16 and that is what started it.

Through the summer of my graduation year I worked at the Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson, in Hermitage Tn. I had worked there the summer before, on holidays and weekends for a while. I enjoy meeting people so I really liked this job. But it was not one I could just stay at, I needed a profession.

I went to work with the state in 1978, in the printing division that seems so long ago. What happened in my life in those 30 years, to sum it up in high lights…..

Well for one I met my ex, married and had my first child, all in 2 years. I then left my job in the printing division to be a mom. That did not go over well, I was to use to being out among people. So I went back to work part time, then full time somewhere else for 4 yrs.

After those 4 yrs I got a call and they were hiring for my old position again. Did I want to try out for it? Sure, so I went back to the state of Tennessee, Department of General Services, in the printing division and the years started to add up again.

During my next jot with the printing division I got pregnant with my second child, lost my grandmother and lost my dad and bought a house. Down the road from that I divorced my husband, raised my kids, sold my house, bought another house, and had my first grandson. Had several nieces and nephews. All while still in the printing division.

For 13 years I was the camera operator for printing, then was promoted to account clerk for purchasing the supplies that printing used. Held that position for 3 years, only to be promoted to Printing Estimator/Customer Serv. Rep. I held that position for 4 years. Out of all my jobs I have to say that was the most stressful and the one I never really came to like.

I learned during this time that I had a talent I was not aware of….I could paint. No not walls, I could paint on canvas in oils. What's more, I was pretty good. I have sold several paintings and was even commissioned to paint the CD cover for a local song writer, Richard Carpenter for his Christmas album.

But being I was stressed to the max as an Estimator, really not liking my job, and painting was not really helping, I started to look for a change. I had to stay with the state, I had too many years invested in that. But while looking my boss called me to her office and I was informed that she knew I was looking and did not want to lose me. Did I want to move up the hill to the TN Tower and become the secretary for Photographic Services, which was still part of printing. I took the position. I told my super up there that I would give him 2 years. I stayed four.

The youngest photographer left there and went to work for the TBI, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and within six months he sent me an email about a secretary position there. Wanted to know if I was interested? I was hired into that position after a background check……so after 25 years with the same department and same division for the state of Tennessee, I, Pam Jackson, jumped out of the box, her comfort zone and went to work somewhere else in the state. Wow….what a step!

Since being at the TBI I have had two more grandsons, lost aunts and uncles, have become a great aunt (once) and learned that I am a pretty good photographer, had an artist showing at a gallery for my paintings, have had my photography published on my Chiropractor's website, photographed a cigar store at the airport, had my photo's published on a caregiver's brochure and website and have had some pics in several calendars including one the state of Tennessee printing division put out. I have shot 7 weddings, and more senior class pics then I can remember. And I experienced my son finding himself and getting married, yes, mom got to shoot that wedding.

Now 5 years later I am asked what I want for a gift for my 30 years! Wow…..I stayed with something that LONG! The gift is not that big a deal, it’s the fact that I actually have gave the state of Tennessee my life, I have grown, I have learned and I have experienced and I plan to retire from here. I even checked into that recently, I hope to give at least 2 more if not 5 more years. I am thinking of splitting the difference and going in 3, maybe. In 3 I will be 55, I will have over 30 yrs….and I will only have 5 more years till SS. We will see what the future brings….

30 years…..I feel like I have accomplished a lot.

Thanks for stopping in,



Gail Wilson said…
30 years passes quick, doesn't it?
Jamie just celebrated that 31st bd, and I can't believe it.

congrats on 30 years... hang in there till you don't want to. ;)

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